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Health

Alberta judge says no money for couple charged in son’s meningitis death

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CALGARY — A judge has told an Alberta couple facing a retrial in the meningitis death of their son that they won’t be getting the money they requested for legal fees.

David and Collet Stephan wanted $4 million to pay for past and future legal bills.

In 2016, the Stephans were found guilty for failing to provide the necessaries of life to their 19-month-old son Ezekiel.

The conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court and a new trial is scheduled for June.

Justice John Rooke made it clear in a Calgary courtroom on Friday that he won’t be awarding any money and that the request belongs in civil court.

He also told David Stephan that the upcoming trial will not be an inquiry into the death of his son, but will decide on the couple’s guilt or innocence.

Stephan is alleging collusion and perjury by the Crown and some witnesses. He’s asking for a stay of proceedings until he and his wife are awarded money to be able to retain lawyers.

The couple’s trial in Lethbridge, Alta., heard evidence that they treated the boy with natural remedies and smoothies made with garlic, onion and horseradish rather than take him to a doctor. Ezekiel had been ill for several days and at one point became so stiff he couldn’t sit in his car seat.

Once the boy stopped breathing, the Stephans eventually called 911 but he died in hospital in Calgary in 2012.

Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the original judge did not properly instruct jurors and ordered a new trial.

The couple’s application for cash asked that they be granted $1 million to cover their past legal expenses and that another $3 million be placed in trust for any future defence fees.

The Stephans say they have liquidated their assets, are in debt to their previous lawyer and don’t have enough money to obtain the necessary assistance to receive a fair trial.

David Stephan has already told court that the applications are the result of recently released disclosure evidence that suggests 719 pages of defence material was released to the Crown by the RCMP.

The Stephans now live in Grande Prairie, Alta.

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

 

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said Justice Beth Hughes was presiding.

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Health

British health researcher says authorities in Canada, US, and UK are doing nothing about thousands of excess deaths

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About six months ago, the Province of Alberta’s annual cause of deaths statistics briefly made headlines around the world.  For the first time “unknown causes of mortality” was the leading cause of death in the province.  Just a few years earlier, “unknown causes” wasn’t even on the top ten list.

Province of Alberta Cause of Death Statistics 2021

An Alberta taxpayer might expect the province to call an inquiry into this shocking development to see if there’s not some way to protect the lives of thousands of Albertans. So far this has not happened.

Now similar shocking statistics are starting to emerge nationally and around the world.  British health researcher John Campbell has looked at the data coming from Canada, Britain, the US and Australia among other nations.  He’s noticed a very significant and distressing increase in “excess deaths”.  The number of excess deaths is quickly adding up to the hundreds of thousands. Of course some of these deaths can be attributed to COVID-19, but the vast majority are not.

In this video, Dr. Campbell reveals the data he’s found and offers some pointed criticism to our political leaders. Canada is singled out as “quite pathetic” for not even sharing cause death statistics after August of 2022. Campbell says “I think we’re in somewhat of an international emergency not being responded to as I would like by our governments in any way, shape, or form.  In fact they seem to be ignoring it. As indeed do most of the mainstream media.”

“This demands an explanation. And we’re not getting one.”

From Dr. John Campbell – British health researcher / instructor

Dr. Campbell’s presentation notes including links to information sources

US, Weekly Cumulative All-Cause Excess Deaths

ttps://www.usmortality.com

https://www.usmortality.com/deaths/ex…

Excess deaths 2022 (Up to December 1st) 242,224

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/7…

https://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p2SV…

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Provisional Mortality Statistics

Reference period, Jan – Sep 2022

144,650 deaths that occurred by 30 September 19,986 (16.0%) more than the historical average.

Deaths attributed to covid, 8,160

October covid deaths, 232

Australia, September 2022 13,675 deaths (doctor certified) 1,814 were coroner referred.

UK, ONS https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulati…

UK Prevalence

2.61% in England (1 in 40 people)

3.94% in Wales (1 in 25 people)

4.22% in Northern Ireland (1 in 25 people)

3.26% in Scotland (1 in 30 people)

Deaths and excess deaths

(W/E week 13th January 2023)

A total of 19,916 deaths were registered in the UK

20.4% above the five-year average.

Covid UK deaths

1,059 deaths involving COVID-19 registered (up 842 on the week)

Deaths involving COVID-19 accounted for 5.3% of all deaths UK,

Office for Health Improvement https://www.gov.uk/government/statist…

Excess deaths in all age groups, (0 to 24 years) UK,

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries https://actuaries.org.uk/news-and-med…

Mortality rates in 2022 compare to 2019 at different ages 2022,

mortality, 7.8% higher for ages 20-44

In the UK, the second half of 2022

26,300 excess deaths, compared to 4,700 in the first half of 2022 Europe,

EuroMOMO,

Bulletin week 2 2023 https://www.euromomo.eu

Pooled EuroMOMO, all-cause mortalit

Elevated level of excess mortality, overall and in all age groups.

Data from 25 European countries or subnational regions

Average levels from pre 2020 https://www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-… https://www.stats.govt.nz/topics/birt…

Year ended September 2021,

total of 34,578 deaths Year ended September 2022, total of 38,052 deaths

 

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Alberta

Alberta budget set for Feb. 28, with focus on funding for health, school growth

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By Dean Bennett in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews says the United Conservative Party government’s 2023 budget will be delivered on Feb. 28, the first day of the spring legislature sitting.

Toews said Friday it will focus on investing in health care and school enrolment growth.

It’s expected to be the final budget before voters go to the polls for a scheduled May 29 general election.

Alberta’s fortunes, powered mainly by energy revenues and further diversification of its economy, have been on the upswing since the global economy began rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last fall, Toews announced the current budget year, which finishes at the end of March, is expected to record a $12.3-billion surplus.

That surplus comes even with $2.8 billion being set aside over the next three years to cover inflation-fighting programs and payouts to shield Albertans — particularly families, seniors and the vulnerable — from higher costs.

Toews said while energy prices remain volatile, the outlook is for them to stay strong.

“This budget will reflect the fact that health care is a priority, that health care capacity is a priority, ” said Toews in an interview.

“Alberta is leading the nation on net-inflow migration,” he added.

“Our population is growing. Our enrolment in our K-12 education system is growing, and the budget will reflect that good news story with additional enrolment growth.”

One outstanding question after the budget will be whether Toews will run again in the May vote.

He is a first-term UCP member representing Grande Prairie-Wapiti.

Toews declined to say whether he has made a decision.

“I’ll have more to say on that one later,” he said, “I’m focused on preparing the budget.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023.

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